Steve Jobs’s ghost has lingered at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) for nearly two years, as the legacy of his products has been passed from one version of the iPhone version to the next, from iPad to iPad. The bumbling introduction of the new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, each a product barely better than its predecessor, shows that whatever product plans Jobs left behind have been exhausted. Even if he imagined the not-yet-launched iWatch, his passion for getting brand new products to the market first has perished, too.
Nearly everyone who saw or read about the release of the new products felt the same. Nothing was nifty about the latest versions of Apple’s once truly revolutionary smartphone, itself close to seven years old. The question has been asked repeatedly whether Jobs might have improved the product more, or changed it entirely. No matter how that question gets answered, a smartphone with a little bit better camera, a little bit better processor and the kind of fingerprint security from a Batman movie did not impress.
5 Best Penny Stocks To Watch For 2014: Brocade Communications Systems Inc.(BRCD)
Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. supplies networking equipment comprising end-to-end Internet protocol based Ethernet and storage area networking solutions. Its Data Storage segment provides infrastructure products and solutions, including directors, switches, routers, fabric-based software applications, distance/extension products, management applications, and utilities to centralize data management; and host bus adapters, converged network adapters, mezzanine cards, and switch modules for bladed servers. The company?s Ethernet Products segment offers Open Systems Interconnection Reference Model (OSI) Layer 2-3 switches and routers, which enable the use of bandwidth-intensive network business applications and digital entertainment on local area networks and wide area networks; and OSI Layer 4?7 switches that allow enterprises and service providers to build network infrastructures to direct the flow of traffic, and file area network products and associated management s olutions. The company?s Global Services segment provides break/fix maintenance, extended warranty, installation, consulting, network management, and related software maintenance and support services; consulting and support services that assist customers in designing, implementing, deploying, and managing networking solutions; and post-contract customer support and extended warranties. It serves various businesses and organizations, which include global enterprises and service providers, such as telecommunication firms, cable operators, and mobile carriers. The company has a strategic partnership with LG-Ericsson. It offers its products and services to end-user customers directly, and through various distribution partners comprising original equipment manufacturers, distributors, systems integrators, and value-added resellers in the United States, western Europe, Japan, and the greater Asia Pacific region. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in San Jose, Cal i fornia.
- [By Anders Bylund]
Networked storage specialist Brocade Communications Systems (NASDAQ: BRCD ) kicked out its poison pill plan in 2007, following an annual policy review that found it unnecessary. The company has often been the subject of buyout speculation in a rapidly consolidating storage market, but is still standing alone. Brocade shares have only gained 3% since the plan change, trailing the S&P 500’s 29% returns.
- [By Harry Boxer]
Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (BRCD) had a very significant breakout on Tuesday on earnings, up 67 cents, or 8.3%, to 8.77 on 15.3 million shares. With the breakout across multiple tops over the last few months, it sure looks like a parallel channel is forming, which could lead to 10.00, maybe 11.00, on this stock.
5 Best Penny Stocks To Watch For 2014: USA Technologies Inc.(USAT)
USA Technologies, Inc. supplies cashless, remote management, reporting, and energy management solutions for the unattended point of sale market primarily in the United States. The company offers networked devices and associated services that enable the owners and operators of stand-alone distributed assets, such as vending machines, kiosks, personal computers, photocopiers, and laundry equipment the ability to remotely monitor, control, and report on the results of these distributed assets, as well as the ability to offer their customers cashless payment options. Its products include Intelligent Vending, an ePort connect solution for the vending industry; Kiosk, an ePort solution that offers an electronic payment option and Web-based remote monitoring and management for various kiosk types; eSuds, a solution for the commercial laundry industry; Business Express, which provides self-service business center solutions to the hotel and motel industry; and ePort Transact soluti on for the self-service business center devices, such as printers and copy machines. The company also manufactures and sells energy conservation products comprising VendingMiser, CoolerMiser, VM2IQ and CM2IQ, SnackMiser, and PlugMiser for various existing equipment, including refrigerated vending machines and glass front coolers. USA Technologies, Inc. was founded in 1992 and is based in Malvern, Pennsylvania.
- [By Monica Gerson]
USA Technologies (NASDAQ: USAT) is estimated to report its Q4 earnings at $0.02 per share on revenue of $9.89 million.
Vail Resorts (NYSE: MTN) is projected to post a Q4 loss at $1.71 per share on revenue of $117.82 million.
5 Best Penny Stocks To Watch For 2014: China Metro-Rural Holdings Limited(CNR)
China Metro-Rural Holdings Limited, through its subsidiaries, primarily engages in the development and operation of agricultural logistics and trade centers in northeast China. It also involves in purchasing, processing, assembling, merchandising, and distributing pearls and jewelry products. The company markets its pearls and jewelry products to wholesale distributors and mass merchandisers in Europe, the United States, Hong Kong, and other parts of Asia. In addition, it develops, sells, and leases residential and commercial properties in Hong Kong and the People?s Republic of China. The company is based in Tsimshatsui, Hong Kong.
- [By Katie Brennan]
Canadian National Railway Co. (CNR) added 0.9 percent to C$104.93 and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. rose 1.7 percent to C$131.73.
Niko Resources surged 3.4 percent to $8.64 after the company entered an agreement for a $60 million loan that will be funded by a group of institutional investors. Net proceeds from the loan will be used to fund working capital requirements.
5 Best Penny Stocks To Watch For 2014: Cornerstone Progressive Return Fund(CFP)
Cornerstone Progressive Return Fund is a closed-ended equity fund of fund launched and managed by Cornerstone Advisors, Inc. The fund invests funds investing in the public equity markets of the United States. It invests in stocks of companies operating across diversified sectors. Cornerstone Progressive Return Fund was formed on April 26, 2007 and is domiciled in the United States.
- [By Dan Caplinger]
But you can see in several places the consequences of the stampede toward high yield. Here are just a few:
Closed-end funds Cornerstone Progressive (NYSEMKT: CFP ) and Pimco High Income (NYSE: PHK ) both make fixed payments back to fund shareholders on a monthly basis, and their distribution yields are truly extraordinary, at about 17% and 12%, respectively. Those dividends have enticed shareholders to pay $1.30 to $1.40 or more for each $1 of assets in the funds. Yet during most months, a substantial portion of those distribution payments has simply been a return of investor capital rather than true income from the funds’ investments. A recent study discussed in The Wall Street Journal found that returns on a portfolio with a combined value and dividend-income strategy outperformed a strategy focused more exclusively on maximizing dividends by an average of 1.7 percentage points per year, a huge edge in long-run returns. In the dividend ETF arena, most funds tend to focus on maximizing yield. Although the popular Vanguard Dividend Appreciation (NYSEMKT: VIG ) ETF bucks the trend by screening first for consistent dividend growth and only then looking at yield as a factor, many rival ETFs start with high-yielding stocks as their baseline and only then consider other desirable traits. Others focus solely on high-dividend niches of the market, such as iShares FTSE NAREIT Mortgage-Plus (NYSEMKT: REM ) and its concentration on high-yield mortgage REITs.
When dividend stocks get too popular, their prices get out of line with both their dividend income and the fundamentals of the businesses that underlie those stocks. In simpler terms, when dividend stocks become bad values, it’s time to consider looking elsewhere for a margin of safety.
5 Best Penny Stocks To Watch For 2014: Nicholas Financial Inc.(NICK)
Nicholas Financial, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a specialized consumer finance company. The company engages in acquiring and servicing contracts for purchases of new and used automobiles and light trucks. It also makes direct loans and sells consumer-finance related products. In addition, the company engages in developing, marketing, supporting, and updating industry-specific computer application software for small businesses located primarily in the Southeast United States. As of April 5, 2011, it operated 56 branch locations in 14 Southeastern and Midwestern states. The company was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Clearwater, Florida.
- [By Lauren Pollock]
Prospect Capital Corp.(PSEC) said it agreed to buy Nicholas Financial Inc.(NICK) in a stock deal valued at about $199 million that the investment firm expects will expand its presence in the car-loan industry. Prospect Capital is offering $16 a share for Nicholas, a 4.5% premium over Tuesday’s closing price. Nicholas Financial shares edged up 2.8% to $15.70 premarket.